By Kerry LeVielle, Fall 2017 Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow09.15.17
I am so thankful. Hearing the title of Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow attached to my name is still such a surreal feeling. Graduating from SUNY Purchase this past May, only a few short months ago, this fellowship has motivated me to really hit the ground running - emerging as a young, eager artist (see what I did there?).
As a Cinema Studies major at school, my discipline focused primarily on film theory. As I grew in the program, I realized how I yearned for much more than theory. I wanted to take part in the creative process of film production as a writer and director. Throughout my remaining time at Purchase I crewed on many a student film, as well as a few independent features. I also had the great opportunity to intern at IndieWire in New York City, which was one of the best experiences and where my love for independent filmmaking came to fruition.
In my senior year, I took on the challenge of writing and directing a short thesis film entitled Her Natural Crown, which went on to receive awards at festivals such as The IndieFEST. My thesis proved to be one of the greatest teaching tools in understanding that who I am as an artist and who I am as a person are intersectional. I became aware of what stories I want to tell and the social activism I seek to convey with my art; how I stress the importance of the inclusion of women both onscreen and behind the camera, and the importance of telling stories that are ignored, overlooked, or disregarded.
As a Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow, I will seek to further develop my own cinematic and thematic aesthetic, as well as continue pursuing my education of film production through the failures and successes of my current project titled Misbehavior. I am excited to see how I grow as both an artist and as a human during my time as a Fellow. I am also eager to see what my Creative Culture community creates as well!